I have 3 images for you today. It was a fun day spent at Green Island Wildlife Preserve. My last two trips there have not produced many images. Yesterday, although not a banner day for wildlife, I did find some subjects (some unwilling) to photograph.
This is what I would see a lot of the time. I would get close to being in a position to capture an image and the subject would fly away. This particular time the Great Egret flew past me instead of away from me so he unwittingly gave me a photo opportunity. 🙂
Some interesting information about Great Egrets:
The elegant Great Egret is a dazzling sight in many a North American wetland. Slightly smaller and more svelte than a Great Blue Heron, these are still large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds.
- The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.
- Not all young that hatch survive the nestling period. Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings. This behavior, known as siblicide, is not uncommon among birds such as hawks, owls, and herons, and is often a result of poor breeding conditions in a given year.
- The pristinely white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Called aigrettes, those plumes were the bane of egrets in the late nineteenth century, when such adornments were prized for ladies’ hats.
- In mixed-species colonies, Great Egrets are often the first species to arrive, and their presence may induce nesting among other species.
- Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.
- Though it mainly hunts while wading, the Great Egret occasionally swims to capture prey or hovers (somewhat laboriously) over the water and dips for fish.
- The oldest known Great Egret was 22 years, 10 months old and was banded in Ohio.
~ Source – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
I was getting a little frustrated with Mr. Egret as every time I got within the range of my lens they would fly away. So thanks to the internet (via smart phone) I did a little research on “stalking” and found a useful tip. I tried it and it worked. I was able to get very close to this guy. It took me over 20 minutes to get this close but 200 images later I was very happy with the results.
Green Island is a fun, tranquil, and interesting place to visit. I was especially lucky yesterday in that I had the whole preserve to myself. I never saw another person until I was about to leave. That is very unusual.
My only regret with these images is that I never caught him going down for a bite. I’ve captured that before but he wasn’t having much luck and the two times he did spear the water I missed one and the other one was a white and green blur. 😦
That’s it for today. Thanks for checking the blog.
Enjoy your day and be careful. Oh yes and don’t forget to wear sunscreen if you’re out in the sun.